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Every spring when those first 75-80 degree days hit the North, everyone breaks out their shorts and sundresses.  I find myself looking outside once or twice, checking the weather again, and staring at my closet.

I am pale.  Warm weather always reminds me that my heritage is Irish, Irish, Irish, and German... which only means pasty white skin, hair that turns red in the sun, and a bit more than a dusting of freckles.  As a lifeguard for the past five summers, I've gotten away with my pale skin.  Sitting in the sun for 40+ hours a week for eight weeks will give you some color, even with SPF 30.

Living in a bronze-obsessed society can be tough on someone with such light skin-- trust me, the jokes got old in high school.  But why is it something to be ashamed of?  We're all so different, and that's what makes the world so interesting.  I'm the only one of my siblings that inherited my mom's explosive freckles.  While we all have some, I have them everywhere, and I just know that this is something I'll love forever.

I've always loved my freckles.  They're not dark, just light pieces of confetti that are sprinkled on my face, down my arms, and on my legs.  I remember learning that a lot of people hate their freckles and I was so confused.  Isn't it just a trait, like brown hair or green eyes?

Now that I'm old enough to have escaped the triviality of high school and the cruelness of peers, I'm learning to love my pale skin and freckles.  It's a part of me and who I am.  I wouldn't be me if I had blue eyes instead of hazel; I wouldn't be me if my hair didn't bleach red in the sunshine; I wouldn't be me if I tanned easily.

It's not something to be insecure about.  Sure, I'll always enjoy getting a little color in the summer, but that's part of the fun of the season: feeling the sun warm you from the inside out.

Is there anything that you're learning to love about yourself?


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